"There's something about Suneel's personality. It exudes dependability and strength. And yet he can also look ruthless if he wants. I want him to play Vidya Balan's husband in Rahgeer," says Rituparno Ghosh.
Ritu has met Suneel and in principle, the choosy actor has agreed. "I need to hear the script now," says Suneel shooting frantically around the clock and looking into the production of his new Priyadarshan comedy Bhaagam-Bhaag which Suneel's company Popkorn entertainment is co-producing.
"But yes, I'd love to be part of Rituparnos's film. He's the kind of director who would take me beyond where I am today. I need to look beyond what I've done.
That's why after my current set of films-- Subhash Ghai's Apna Sapna Money Money, Dharmesh Darshan's Aap Ki Khatir, J.P. Dutta's Umrao Jaan and Mani Shankar's Mukhbir I need to take a break to recharge my batteries. Rituparno's film could be a step in my reinvention as an actor."
He's happy to step back and let Govinda and Akshay Kumar take centrestrage in Bhaagam-Bhaag. "Though my director Priyadarshan was very keen that I do the film I'm very clear I won't act in films that I produce.
Bhaagam-Bhaag is actually for Chi-Chi (Govinda). When he told me to do something about his career I had to act immediately. Bhaagam-Bhaag will show the Akshay-Govinda jodi in a really entertaining light."
He's just returned from England after working with one of his favourite directors. "Dharmesh Darshan gave me one of my career's best roles in Dhadkan.
I can't claim to have an equally rewarding space in his new film Aap Ki Khatir. But yes, I'm one of the five protagonists. It's a very emotional love story with lots of lovely visuals and music."
But somewhere Suneel needs to go beyond what he's doing right now. "That's why a holiday. And then I return hopefully to work with Rituparno Ghosh."